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Gayle in MD
03-08-2010, 09:55 AM
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Former Nevada state Sen. Sue Lowden, who is running for the Republican nomination to challenge Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in November, goes after Reid in a new ad for trying to force "one-size-fits-all government health care" on all Americans.


http://www.factcheck.org/2010/03/a-practically-fact-free-attack-on-reid/



<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Browse &gt; Home / Articles / Koop’s False Claims
Koop’s False Claims
The 93-year-old former surgeon general claims seniors would be 'too old' in the United Kingdom to get a pacemaker or joint replacement. He's wrong.
February 1, 2010

Summary
Former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop claims that the United Kingdom’s health care system would consider seniors "too old" to qualify for the artificial joints, heart pacemakers and coronary stent that he’s received in the U.S.

U.K. guidelines make clear that patients of "any age" may receive pacemakers, for example. And in fact, official statistics show 47 patients aged 100 or older got new or replacement pacemakers in a single recent year.

Koop, who held office during the Reagan administration, makes his false claim in a TV spot by the conservative 60 Plus Association. We asked 60 Plus to substantiate the claim but received nothing that backs up what Koop said about joints, stents or pacemakers being denied based on age. A spokeswoman for the U.K.’s Department of Health states that Koop’s assertions are "not true."

the ad, Koop tells viewers that he is 93 and lists some details of his personal medical history: "I’m here with two artificial joints, two pacemakers to keep my heart in rhythm, as well as a stent to keep my coronaries open." He then says that "seniors in this country can get the same care I received, but in some places, like the United Kingdom, we would be considered too old and the cost to the state too high."

Hip Replacements Only for the Young?

Do our neighbors across the Atlantic really deny artificial joints and heart procedures for seniors? No. In fact, statistics show that the United Kingdom’s system provides pacemakers to those who are even older than Koop.

The U.K.’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has posted treatment guidelines online that state "pacemakers may be implanted in patients of any age." A more detailed report for 2007 from the National Health Service (the most recent year for which records are available) said that the average age of recipients of new implants was 75.5 years. Nearly 76 percent of the 36,297 pacemaker recipients that year were aged 70 and older, the report said, and 47 patients were 100 years old or more.

As for joint replacements, a spokesman for the U.K. National Joint Registry told us that there was no age limit for surgery and that he "was not aware of anyone being declined" for joint replacement surgery on account of age. The joint registry didn’t have statistics based on age, but it counted 100,786 hip and knee operations at National Health Service hospitals in 2009.

We sought out an anti-ageism nonprofit group in the U.K., Age Concern and Help the Aged. We figured that if there is any substance to Koop’s complaint of joint replacements being denied to those who are "too old," then this organization would be the first to support it. The group didn’t. Instead, Age Concern’s press office pointed us to government statistics stating that "the over 65-year age group accounts for two in every three" hip replacements performed in the U.K.

Koop’s reference to his heart stent is reminiscent of an anonymous chain e-mail we debunked last summer. The e-mail falsely claimed that anyone older than 59 could not receive heart bypass surgery or stents in England because the procedures were "too costly." A U.K Department of Health spokesman flatly told us that "it is not true that anyone aged over 59 years cannot receive heart repairs, stents or bypass surgery on the basis of their age." The spokesman added: "The NHS Constitution states that the NHS provides a ‘comprehensive service, available to all irrespective of gender, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, religion or belief.’ "

We couldn’t track down specific numbers on the age of patients who have received stents, but when we looked into this claim months ago, Age Concern’s press office told us the group had never heard of a prohibition on heart surgery for patients aged 60 and up.

This time, we sent a copy of the Koop ad to U.K. Department of Health Press Officer Julia Harris to ask about his claims. "The Department of Health can confirm that this is not true," she said. "Access to treatment should be offered on the basis of clinical need."

No Support for Claims

When we asked the 60 Plus Association for backup for the ad’s claims, a spokesman did not send us anything about the three medical treatments Koop mentioned or age limits on such procedures. Rather, the group pointed to three clippings that have nothing to do with its claim:

A newspaper story about a U.K. government report on abuses at nursing homes.
A newspaper story about some doctors in England expressing concern about a hospice approach that allows doctors and caregivers to focus on comfort instead of life preservation at the end of life.
A 2006 newspaper story about a then-new bone cancer drug, Velcade, that was not approved for use in England (though it was available in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) because of a concern over cost and effectiveness. However, the drug was approved a year later.
The group also supplied a Wall Street Journal editorial from last summer claiming that Britain’s medical guidelines hold that "except in unusual cases, Britain cannot afford to spend more than about $22,000 to extend a life by six months." When we asked officials at the U.K.’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) about the Journal’s editorial, they referred us to a statement issued a few weeks later by Chief Executive Andrew Dillon, calling such reports "untrue or misinformed" and adding: “We don’t put a limit on the amount the NHS can spend on an individual patient." NICE does have a formula used to assess whether or not a new drug or medical device is worth the cost. But it’s not a simple spending cap. And once a treatment is found to be cost-effective, it is available to all patients regardless of age.

– by Justin Bank, with Lori Robertson

Sources
"Summary of Annual Statistics - 2009." National Joint Registry, United Kingdom.

"Report for European Heart Rhythm Association." National Clinical Audit Support Programme, United Kingdom. 2007.

"Guidance Chapter 2: Bradycardia - dual chamber pacemakers." National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. United Kingdom. accessed 1 Feb 2010.

"Guidance on the Selection of Prostheses for Primary Total Hip Replacement (TA2)." National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. United Kingdom. accessed 1 Feb 2010.

"Of NICE and Men." Wall Street Journal. 7 July 2009.

Age Concern and Help the Aged press office. E-mail interview with FactCheck.org. 27 Jan 2010.

U.K. Department of Health Press Officer Julia Harris. Phone interview with FactCheck.org. 1 Feb 2010.

U.K. National Joint Registry press office. Phone interview with FactCheck.org. 27 Jan 2010.

National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence Press Officer Alice Law. Phone and E-mail interview with FactCheck.org. 1 Feb 2010.
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Maybe "one-size-fits-all government health care" is a plausible description of the systems in some other countries: Canada or the U.K., for instance. But the Senate-passed health care overhaul, which Reid shepherded through that body on Christmas Eve, builds on our system of private health insurance, provided through employers or purchased individually. And in fact, the Senate bill would likely present individuals with more choices than they have at present, notably through newly created exchanges where any number of private insurance companies would compete for the business of millions of currently uninsured Americans.

Lowden also says that the proposed overhaul will "put a bureaucrat between you and your doctor." That’s flat wrong. It implies that a government official would have to sign off on treatment options. But nobody would be forced to clear their treatment with the government under either the House or Senate bill.

Does the overhaul "weaken Medicare," as Lowden says? It calls for cuts in the growth of Medicare spending totaling about $500 billion over 10 years. <span style='font-size: 17pt'>The cuts aren’t supposed to affect benefits to seniors, however.</span><span style='font-size: 17pt'> "Weaken" is a subjective word, but it’s certainly not the one the head of AARP chose in December, when he said the Senate’s passage of its bill "clears the way for Congress to enact legislation in the coming weeks that will protect and strengthen Medicare.” </span>AARP CEO Barry Rand cited closing the “doughnut hole” prescription drug coverage gap and providing free preventive care as two of the bill’s improvements to Medicare.

<span style='font-size: 17pt'>Next, Lowden says the bill will “kill jobs.”</span> When we looked at a similar charge last fall, we said that "the nonpartisan experts we talked to don’t believe the employer mandate is going to trigger the evaporation of many jobs as a percentage of total employment." The Lewin Group’s John Sheils estimated that under the original version of the House bill, up to 600,000 workers, or 0.4 percent of the population, could lose their jobs. Fewer jobs would be lost under the Senate Finance Committee’s bill, he said. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which analyzed the issue last July before any bills were passed, even by committee, said that "[r]equiring employers to offer health insurance – or pay a fee if they do not – is likely to reduce employment, <span style='font-size: 17pt'>although the effect would probably be small." And other experts say that at least some of the jobs lost would be offset by jobs gained in the health care industry.</span>Finally, Lowden claims the legislation will “push us further into debt.” But that conflicts with the analysis of CBO and Congress’ Joint Committee on Taxation, which say the Senate bill would reduce the deficit by $132 billion over 10 years.The House bill would yield about the same net reduction in the deficit, $138 billion over the same period, by the calculations of CBO and JCT. A spokesman for Lowden’s campaign told us that support for her statement can be found on the Web site of the conservative Heritage Foundation. That’s true. For example, this post by James Capretta, who used to work in the Office of Management and Budget under President George W. Bush, argues that certain cuts and other steps outlined in health care overhaul legislation are unlikely to happen.

Lowden has a right to believe any analysis she likes. But we’d note that, as hard as it is to forecast anything 10 years out, a projection like Capretta’s adds still more conjecture to the calculation, and comes from a partisan source.

Lowden is running ahead of Reid in a recent poll by the Las Vegas Review Journal but first must win the GOP nod in a June primary.

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pooltchr
03-08-2010, 10:23 AM
No amount of twisting and spinning is going to save Reid's job. He is toast!

Steve

eg8r
03-08-2010, 02:25 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Repubs Lying About HC Bill - Here & Elsewhere! </div></div>No different than lefties lying about it. Do two wrongs make a right, nope, but when the President of the United States is lying every time he opens his mouth about the bill, the Reps feel they have to do what they can to offset it.

eg8r

Gayle in MD
03-08-2010, 02:43 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: eg8r</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Repubs Lying About HC Bill - Here & Elsewhere! </div></div>No different than lefties lying about it. Do two wrongs make a right, nope, but when the President of the United States is lying every time he opens his mouth about the bill, the Reps feel they have to do what they can to offset it.

eg8r </div></div>

<span style="color: #000066">Republicans are telling so many lies about this bill, many of which I have documented from independent fact check web sites, and from the CBO, that to defend them is to prove that you have not researched their lies, at all.

G. </span>

pooltchr
03-08-2010, 03:13 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Gayle in MD that to defend them is to prove that you have not researched their lies, at all.

G. [/color</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> </div></div>

Cut him some slack. It's a full time job just to research all of Obama's lies! How has time for anything else????

Steve

wolfdancer
03-09-2010, 10:37 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">How has time for anything else??? </div></div>
Who's on first?

pooltchr
03-09-2010, 11:46 PM
Typo, Wolfie. But thanks for continuing to shadow all of my posts.

Were you born a jerk, or did you have to work at it?

Steve

wolfdancer
03-10-2010, 12:53 AM
That was a harmless joke, Dumbo
and I dunno...were you born a pos...or did it just come natural?
As for shadowing your posts....you mean like you do mine and Gayle's?
..if you or lww begin a thread...I don't bother reading it. Seems like others are catching on as well....that "there ain't nothing there, there"

pooltchr
03-10-2010, 08:44 AM
Well, you're half way there. Now, if you would just do away with all the insults and attacks you seem to be obsessed with making, the level of animosity around here might actually reach acceptable levels.
As long as you continue your endless insults and attacks, expect the same in return.

Steve